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Michael Giacchino's Lightyear


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22 minutes ago, CourtneyNeedsAW said:

Just judging by the previews alone, he's never channeled Jerry Goldsmith THIS much before and I really dig it.

That Buzz theme man, pure gold.

I'm gonna hold out for the OST to drop on Friday before listening to any clips but a composer channelling Jerry is always a win in my books! I hope MG does a good job on this, he's pretty reliable for Pixar but he's scored a whole heap of films in the last few months (notwithstanding that I'm sure they were more spread out in production than their release dates suggests due to covid) and I'm not sure he's a composer who produces better work under pressure.

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11 minutes ago, Tom Guernsey said:

 I'm not sure he's a composer who produces better work under pressure.

 

I think he actually might be better under pressure. Look at LOST. Creative as hell, and he only had 2-3 days to score each episode. No time to overthink things. Everything felt more raw and genuine.

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Nice Goldsmith channeling a-la-Lionheart or Small Soldiers, but the orchestration feels also like his own Speed Racer, with the drum kit and bassline.

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I only listened to the single that was released. What happened to Giacchino??? This isn't very good.

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This certainly is. I haven’t heard this score in ages and 2:50 still sticks to mind as something a child learning about film music in class would write as an assignment on “happy music”. 

 

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1 hour ago, Drew said:

I only listened to the single that was released. What happened to Giacchino??? This isn't very good.

Nothing happened, he is rising to the level of mediocrity not falling to it.

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23 minutes ago, Anthony said:

Medal Of Honor (the original)
The Incredibles
Ratatouille
Super 8
John Carter
Jupiter Ascending
Tomorrowland
Spider-Man: Homecoming
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
The Batman

Add Far from Home to the list of essential Giacchinos.

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13 minutes ago, Edmilson said:

Add Far from Home to the list of essential Giacchinos.

 

Interesting - I consider that one of the clunkiest their is - particularly the action music.

 

The suite is brilliant however.

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34 minutes ago, Anthony said:

But there's no denying, there are still a few scores any film music fans should check out before claiming they're a "Giacchino hater".

 

Medal Of Honor (the original)
The Incredibles
Ratatouille
Super 8
John Carter
Jupiter Ascending
Tomorrowland
Spider-Man: Homecoming
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
The Batman

 

I'd swap the last three out for Inside Out, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and the rest of his Medal of Honor scores...honestly some of his best stuff for that franchise is not in the original:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Honestly, only a handful of Giacchino film scores (John Carter chief among them IMO) live up to the amazing quality of his Medal of Honor scores.

 

Yavar

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12 minutes ago, Anthony said:

Interesting - I consider that one of the clunkiest their is - particularly the action music.

 

Really? I thought the action music was pretty entertaining, specially when they use the awesome Mysterio theme. 

 

But yeah, the suite is the best part of the score.

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1 hour ago, Yavar Moradi said:

Oh you'll get no argument from me on Jurassic World. That's one of my least favorite Giacchino scores. His Lost World video game score from the 90s is far superior, lol...

 

Yavar

The performance and recording doesn’t help.

(I don’t really delve into Giacchino beyond his Jurassic works as I have a dinosaur music bias)

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3 hours ago, Yavar Moradi said:

 

Really? I thought this was one of the best themes of 2020:

 

You think that's awkward and amateurish?

 

Yavar


^^
Well, there are some exception.

In fact, I was a “Giacchino supporter” back then when he was still an aspiring composer (for me, he’s kind of revolutionary with how he blends Jazz aesthetic into mainstream score)

I’d say these scores are classic:

The Incredibles, Ratatouille, the first Star Trek, Up, Speed Racer

 

But as I’ve said, my disdain starts post 2009.

 

First I felt it in Cars2 and Mission Impossible 4 

 

But I think, my “hate” starts to fully form in John Carter. Oh man, how I was so looking forward to that score, the potential to be really swashbuckling score. I was hugely disappointed with how clunky the main theme is ( and as a matter of fact, it’s a rip off of Powell’s Phoenix them in X3)


Maybe I could give him another chance,

but no, next comes:

> Dawn of the Planet of the apes

( baffling how he even can fail in such super simple theme, in my opinion)

> Jurrasic World (this needs no explaination)

> Zootopia

> Rogue One ( yikes, the main theme is cringe inducing)

> Coco

> Fallen Kingdom (to be honest, I’m really confused how some people really like the theme)

> No Way Home

> The Batman

..and many others

and now,

the theme from Lightyear.

 

My main problem, my “hate” towards him, is how really often he get the opportunities, the chances with the different genres of A-grade movies, 

but often too he failed.

 

Again this is personal opinion.

 

And made worse by the fact that my benchmark is set on the level of John Powell and James Newton Howard.

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Just got out of Lightyear.. unfortunately this did not work for me.. Found the main theme extremely simplistic and so repetitive.. some fun villain stuff with the choir but that is about it :(

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37 minutes ago, CourtneyNeedsAW said:

Damn, what did Michael Giacchino do to people? I know he has way more fans than detractors. But I never knew his critics were "proud haters" so to speak. 

I may not hold every Giacchino score to the same high standard (I couldn't hum a single note from Zootopia with a gun to my head). But I'm honestly kinda shocked that so many people flat out hate his scores for Jurassic World, Spider-Man, The Batman, even his recent Pixar stuff. Maybe it's a generational thing as the music of Michael Giacchino and Randy Newman were what granted me my appreciation for film scores as I grew up. Lots of Williams and Elfman too of course.

But I gotta be real. I don't know who can listen to the scores for Doctor Strange, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Coco, and The Batman and not be swept away by them. And judging by the previews for the score, Lightyear seems to be another winner for him.

I don't hate his stuff, but I haven't loved anything of his since.... Into Darkness?

 

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1 hour ago, CourtneyNeedsAW said:

Damn, what did Michael Giacchino do to people? I know he has way more fans than detractors. But I never knew his critics were "proud haters" so to speak. 

I may not hold every Giacchino score to the same high standard (I couldn't hum a single note from Zootopia with a gun to my head). But I'm honestly kinda shocked that so many people flat out hate his scores for Jurassic World, Spider-Man, The Batman, even his recent Pixar stuff. Maybe it's a generational thing as the music of Michael Giacchino and Randy Newman were what granted me my appreciation for film scores as I grew up. Lots of Williams and Elfman too of course.

But I gotta be real. I don't know who can listen to the scores for Doctor Strange, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Coco, and The Batman and not be swept away by them. And judging by the previews for the score, Lightyear seems to be another winner for him.


I don’t have personal issue with him of course 😄

And you gotta look how I always put the term “hate” inside “…” 

 

The fact that Giacchino always got hired for blockbuster projects is a testament of his professionalism (often involves putting aside self ego and idealism), his great work ethos, and his great relationship with clients (directors/studios).

 

 

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Giacchino usually always brings something interesting to a project.  I recently made a massive 15 hour playlist of his stuff and the only scores I didn't include anything from were Alias season 2, Earth Days and Toy Story Of Terror. Everything else has at least something worth hearing.

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Well said, @Anthony. I own tons of Giacchino, and when he’s good, he’s very good, but he has racked up a lot more “good” than “great” in recent years, though you never know when he’s suddenly going to go hot again. Dominion was a disappointment overall, but there were two or three cues that suddenly pulled out delightful one-off melodies that never reappeared. His most recent Medal of Honor had several absolutely dynamite themes, though he didn’t write the whole score. 
 

And for the record, Zootopia’s main theme is optimistic and catchy as heckfire, but it only shows up twice on the boring album for the disappointing film. 

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41 minutes ago, Anthony said:

Giacchino usually always brings something interesting to a project.  I recently made a massive 15 hour playlist of his stuff and the only scores I didn't include anything from were Alias season 2, Earth Days and Toy Story Of Terror. Everything else has at least something worth hearing.


I don’t have the Alias albums but I remember some absolutely dynamite scoring and great themes in the show.

 

Yavar

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9 hours ago, Anthony said:

Giacchino usually always brings something interesting to a project.  I recently made a massive 15 hour playlist of his stuff and the only scores I didn't include anything from were Alias season 2, Earth Days and Toy Story Of Terror. Everything else has at least something worth hearing.

I just made a playlist of all his Pixar scores. His scores for The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Up, and Coco are something to behold man fr.

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Man, Lightyear is disappointing. Weakest Giacchino score of 2021. It's not bad - it's just very by the numbers. I enjoyed the far-too-long Batman and Dominion albums more than this.

 

The main theme is great, but it doesn't develop. Mission Perpetual is the best track by miles. It's as if they knew that as well and that's why it was released as a single...

 

 

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Agree with you there, Luke. This is the Giacchino I have wanted to hear again. I don't think any of his other franchise scores as of late have scratched that itch.

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I keep forgetting that good Gia scores exist, and some good parts in others too. I'm too harsh.

 

I think he works too much on the wrong things. I don't know.

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2 hours ago, Giftheck said:

Agree with you there, Luke. This is the Giacchino I have wanted to hear again. I don't think any of his other franchise scores as of late have scratched that itch.

 

MG hasn't composed a really compelling theme for animation for a while. I consider Coco, Zootopia and Inside Out as decent but not outstanding. Same here with the Lightyear theme, simple, short and sometimes used repetitively. But this time he goes back to the 80s brassy adventure sound, a style and sound quality that has been absent from MG's music for a while also. 

That orchestration harkens back to his old MOH music, which is truly wonderful. I guess this is a trade-off, we might not always having him composing themes that win everyone over, but it is freakin' good to get that adventurous and militaristic vibe back. 

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48 minutes ago, Jaaaackified said:

 

MG hasn't composed a really compelling theme for animation for a while.

 

 

:P

 

51 minutes ago, Jaaaackified said:

 

MG hasn't composed a really compelling theme for animation for a while. I consider Coco, Zootopia and Inside Out as decent but not outstanding.

 

Huh, the latter for me was a little different but still outstanding, to me. Maybe not *quite* on the level of Ratatouille or Up or The Incredibles (by the way his score for that sequel is also excellent and generally overlooked).

 

Yavar

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17 minutes ago, Yavar Moradi said:

 

:P

Huh, the latter for me was a little different but still outstanding, to me. Maybe not *quite* on the level of Ratatouille or Up or The Incredibles (by the way his score for that sequel is also excellent and generally overlooked).

 

Yavar

The theme’s alright but he doesn’t really do anything of substance with it like Horner or Goldsmith would with their kiddie flick scores.

Giacchino’s not much of a storyteller even when he does conjure up a theme.

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1 hour ago, Jaaaackified said:

 

MG hasn't composed a really compelling theme for animation for a while. I consider Coco, Zootopia and Inside Out as decent but not outstanding. Same here with the Lightyear theme, simple, short and sometimes used repetitively. But this time he goes back to the 80s brassy adventure sound, a style and sound quality that has been absent from MG's music for a while also. 

That orchestration harkens back to his old MOH music, which is truly wonderful. I guess this is a trade-off, we might not always having him composing themes that win everyone over, but it is freakin' good to get that adventurous and militaristic vibe back. 

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7 hours ago, Brónach said:

 

I think he works too much on the wrong things. I don't know.

This is just it, IMO. From what I know of his works, smaller quirky scores were in general a much better fit for his abilities than grand bombastic operatic storytelling music for a big orchestra.

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I remember distinctly being high on Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, John Carter (!!!), Jupiter Ascending and Tomorrowland. Even Super 8. I enjoy things like parts of the JW scores or the Mysterio theme from the second Spider-Man movie. Also I love his Apes actually.

 

Strangely I also remember being high on Star Trek but not on Up. I never connected with Up much. I liked Let Me In but not like the original, I loved the Cloverfield track.

 

I consider things like his third Spider-Man or Batman to be failures.

 

Lost rules.

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I'm seeing a lot of critics saying this is in contention for worst Pixar movie.

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I just got done listening to the score album


The theme for Buzz is fun and catchy, and the theme for Zorg is deliciously OTT villain music.  It reminded me a bit of the Russian bad guy music from Mission Impossible 4

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I had to stop listening when got to Zurg's Displeasure and come post.

 

It's somewhere between The Imperial March and The Wizard of Oz (Ohhhh EEEE oh!).

 

The score's not bad. I like the theme. I'm skipping ahead to One Suite Buzz and I'm LOVING it. It's like Inside Out - IN SPAAAAACE!

 

Oh, and for the haters: I love his Jurassic World theme. It has an angst and sadness to it. It's like the Park that Is as opposed to William's Park That We Dream Of.

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Say what you will about Giacchino, but his villain themes are always top tier shit. Syndrome, Screenslaver, Director Krennic, The Vulture, Mysterio, The Green Goblin, Koba, The Indo-Raptor, Royal Pain, The Riddler, Charles Muntz. He taps into these characters really well and they're often the best themes to come out of a given score (see Screenslaver, Mysterio, and the Indo-Raptor).

But this Zurg theme is something else man. Got stuck in my head immediately. I think this may be his best villain theme to date.
 

 

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1 hour ago, Stu said:

I'm seeing a lot of critics saying this is in contention for worst Pixar movie.

 

I think it depends on both which reviews you read and personal taste.

 

I just saw the film and thought it was a lot of fun. The animation is insanely good and I thought the story was really engaging. The first 20 to 30 minutes I thought were especially strong.

 

Chris Evans is very good in the role of Buzz. And I can see how Tim Allen's Buzz (toy) was based on this. Keke Palmer, Taika Waititi, Peter Sohn, Uzo Aduba & James Broling were also very strong.

 

Sox, the robotic cat, is such a great character. He's not just funny but he serves the story in very interesting ways. There are 2 twist (one which was kinda in the trailer) with the 2nd really surprising me.

 

As for the music. I am a Giacchino fan, and this score was just so much fun. It works extremely well in the film and is mixed in a way I think all scores should. It gets it chance to shine in moments but also doesn't intrude in other scenes.

 

Lightyear's theme & Zurg's theme are very cleverly composed. You might not notice it but after seeing the film and listening to the album twice again, there is a clever contrast to the themes.

 

I love Pixar, Buzz & Giacchino. So this film was a win for me

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Just listened to the album.

 

Between this and the other blockbuster scores Giacchino released over the last semester (Spiderman NWH, The Batman and JWD), Lightyear might be my favorite. It's a nice mix between his Medal of Honor scores and Rogue One, with a captivating main theme and some nice action music.

 

It's not a masterpiece by any means, and not as good as his earlier Pixar scores, but still a somewhat entertaining score.

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This score seems to share DNA with Tomorrowland which is nice.

 

Anyone know if a CD is being released?

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Why does Zurg's theme sound like Slavonic March by Tchaikovsky, and not like the great pre-existing theme for the character by Randy Newman?

 

I honestly don't understand why Zurg needed a new theme. In Toy Story 2, Zurg's theme is present both in the actual score for the film, as well as in the in-universe video game they play at the beginning. If Lightyear is supposed to also basically be an in-universe movie, then why wouldn't it also use the Randy Newman theme for the character?

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1 hour ago, Tydirium said:

Why does Zurg's theme sound like Slavonic March by Tchaikovsky, and not like the great pre-existing theme for the character by Randy Newman?

 

I honestly don't understand why Zurg needed a new theme. In Toy Story 2, Zurg's theme is present both in the actual score for the film, as well as in the in-universe video game they play at the beginning. If Lightyear is supposed to also basically be an in-universe movie, then why wouldn't it also use the Randy Newman theme for the character?

Because Randy Newman didn't really give Zurg a theme perse. More like musical sounds, but nothing that measures up to a full on theme. Zurg needed something concrete.

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